Two weekends ago my dear friend invited me to lunch at the award-winning Petersham Nurseries. We had just picked up his brand new convertible from the showroom in London and needed a maiden voyage destination; Richmond, about twenty minutes outside of the city, seemed like the perfect place. It was.
Petersham Nurseries is a calming oasis of plants, flowers, greenery, country pathways and delicious food, and gives one the feeling of being in the middle of the countryside miles away from city life. Apart from the expansive nursery itself, there is also a beautiful shop filled with gifts and antiques and two dining options: a greenhouse restaurant and a teahouse.
The Teahouse has a seasonally changing menu that offers Italian-inspired dishes, and some of the most mouth watering cakes and pastries you have ever seen.
The more formal Cafe, (which used to boast a Michelin star) is headed up by Chef Lucy Boyd and features a menu that changes (and is hand-written) each day depending on what is growing in the Petersham House Walled Kitchen Garden. Naturally each dish is garnished with edible flowers from the nursery.
The setting of the restaurant is rustic chic, with a dirt floor, hanging Indian prints and old wooden chairs and tables underneath a greenhouse with flowers galore.
|Zucchini and Pancetta Risotto|
|Roast Yorkshire Grouse, Chicoria, Blackberries and Cobnuts|
|Newlyn Pollock, Borlotti Beans, with Romano Peppers and Marjoram|
|Amalfi Lemon Tart|
|Panna Cotta with Elderflower and Prosecco Raspberries|
If you have access to a car and are looking for a lovely spot to relax the day away in an idyllic setting just a stone's throw from London, then I highly suggest Petersham Nurseries. After lunch, you can head into Richmond for a stroll and have drinks at one of the many pubs along the Thames (which is exactly what we did on the balcony at the riverside Bingham Hotel).